Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hardball: Justice Scalia: No Right State to Secede

Chris Matthews

references Justice Scalia comment to a scriptwriter "no right of a state to secede."

Net the Truth Online

Antonin Scalia: No right to secede
By Robert Barnes
Is there a right to secede from the Union, or did the Civil War settle that?

Certain Tea Partiers have raised the possibility of getting out while the getting's good, setting off a round of debate on legal blogs. The more cerebral theorists at the smart legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy question whether such a right exists.

Enter a New York personal injury lawyer, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The lawyer, Eric Turkewitz, says his brother Dan, a screenwriter, put just such a question to all of the Supreme Court justices in 2006 -- he was working on an idea about Maine leaving the U.S.and a big showdown at the Supreme Court -- and Scalia responded. His answer was no:

"I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, "one Nation, indivisible.") Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit.

I am sure that poetic license can overcome all that -- but you do not need legal advice for that. Good luck with your screenplay."

No comments: